Writing for your (website) reader

Web copy is tricky. It’s much different than other types of writing and vital for creating a lasting impression for your customers, clients, employees or any other visitor.

So, what separates the good from the bad? General advice for good web copy is to converse with your readers and do not talk at them.

Sounds simple, right? But once you start to craft the words, it becomes painfully obvious just how complex it is. You want to converse, but you also want to get your message across, write professionally and stylishly. How can all this be done?

I find that this rule becomes a bit easier when I break it down into a few parts:
First of all, figure out who your reader is. Write a list of your customers’ main characteristics and consider what they are looking for when coming to your site.

Then, outline the services that your website provides (information, business info, articles, amazing photos, recipes, etc.) and nail down how these benefit your readers. Keep in mind that almost all internet readers have a super short attention span and want interesting information quickly. Your list of benefits should be direct, straight to the point and compelling.

Once you begin to write the copy, try to keep the reader’s and their interests as the main subject of all sentences.

Let’s say your website advertises a lake home for rent, emphasize the the home’s benefits for the reader, not the qualities that you find appealing.

Consider this sentence: “Our beautiful lake home is located on 200 feet of private shore.” It’s appealing, but can more effectively engage the reader.
Converse with your reader: “You and your family will create cherished memories playing, swimming and relaxing on your beautiful private beach.” This sentence addresses the reader, who most likely has a family and appeals to their desire for a memorable vacation.

This important component of web copy will help you on your way to creating killer web content.

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